The Genetics of Innate Immunity and Inflammation in Ageing, Age-Related Diseases and Longevity

  • Calogero Caruso
  • Carmela Rita Balistreri
  • Antonino Crivello
  • Giusi Irma Forte
  • Maria Paola Grimaldi
  • Florinda Listì
  • Letizia Scola
  • Sonya Vasto
  • Giuseppina Candore
Part of the Medical Intelligence Unit book series (MIUN)


Inflammation is a key component of age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and genes coding for inflammatory or anti-inflammatory molecules are, therefore, good candidates for influencing the risk of developing these pathologies. Findings discussed in this chapter suggest that different alleles of genes coding for pro-or anti-inflammatory genes may affect individual life-span expectancy by influencing the type and intensity of immune-inflammatory responses against environmental stressors involved in the development of age-related disease. Our immune system has evolved to control pathogens and so pro-inflammatory responses are likely to be evolutionarily programmed to resist fatal infections in earlier life. However, this may have a deleterious effect on cardiovascular and other inflammatory diseases in later life, such that cardiovascular diseases are a late consequence of an evolutionary beneficial pro-inflammatory response programmed to resist infections in earlier life. Genetic polymorphisms responsible for a low inflammatory response might result in an increased chance of a long life-span in an environment with a reduced antigen (i.e., pathogens) load, such as a modern day healthy environment and may also permit a lower grade survivable inflammatory response to atherogenesis and atherosclerosis-related disease. Here, we review the available data in the literature on inflammatory gene polymorphisms in successful and unsuccessful ageing.


Gene Polymorphism Neurobiol Aging Human Longevity Cytokine Gene Polymorphism Receptor Antagonist Gene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Calogero Caruso
    • 1
  • Carmela Rita Balistreri
    • 1
  • Antonino Crivello
    • 1
  • Giusi Irma Forte
    • 1
  • Maria Paola Grimaldi
    • 1
  • Florinda Listì
    • 1
  • Letizia Scola
    • 1
  • Sonya Vasto
    • 1
  • Giuseppina Candore
    • 1
  1. 1.Gruppo di Studio sulľImmunosenescenza, Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Metodologie BiomedicheUniversità di PalermoPalermoItaly

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